The High Costs of Newborn Photos and Birth Videos

newborn photography Cat Alford Budget Blonde

MONEY WELL SPENT   I guess you could say I’m a pretty frugal person most of the time. I don’t like to spend money on new cars, expensive meals out, or lifestyle inflation. But, when it comes to spending money on experiences, making memories, or my boy-girl twins (the beans) I’m willing to make bigger investments here and there. To me, making memories with my family and taking care of the beans are the most important things in my life. This is how I choose to spend my money – not on “stuff” but on memories. With that said, when I got pregnant last year, I knew that I wanted the full experience of newborn photos and possibly even a birth video. I also knew that these things would not come cheap at all. In fact, paying for professional photography and videography is often one of the largest and most under-budgeted expenses for life events, like weddings and births.   Newborn Photos and Video Costs   When I began looking for a newborn photographer, it was very tempting for me to try to be frugal about it. I wanted to get photos taken, but I didn’t want to spend the […]

Child Budgeting: Teach Your Kids to Respect You and Money

Child budgeting with technology

FINANCES FROM A YOUNG AGE   Growing up, my parents hated shopping for me. It was stressful and usually led to rushed purchasing decisions. They would rather spend $300 now to get it over with than spend $200 after shopping around and researching. Now I always wanted more money growing up. So I realized I could both solve their problem and satisfy my desire for more cash. I asked to be given money instead of things. $200 for back-to-school clothing, $20 for school supplies, whatever the occasion, I preferred cash. If they didn’t want to shop around and do the research, I would – and I would feed my piggy bank the money I saved. My parents cheerfully agreed. However, reading CBB, I know you are already budget conscious. So you’re not like my parents who rushed their purchasing decisions. I’m looking to solve a different problem for you – your kids’ lack of interest in budgeting.   Child Budgeting   Child budgeting means your children are budgeting for their own lives. They are taking care of themselves. This can start as early as you feel appropriate. I began at age 13 – a little late because that’s when I […]

Should you trade, sell or donate unwanted sample freebies?

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YOUR BEST DEFENSE IS TO BE INFORMED   Freebies means you don’t have to pay to try a product that you might not have otherwise bought but what happens when you don’t want the freebie? Do you sell it, trade it or give it away? Today I have a mailbag CBB Fan question that came in that I thought I would address based on my opinion and nothing more. As much as I love getting fan mail one thing I don’t do is give advice on what you should and shouldn’t do. I leave those decisions up to you because in the end the only person who is held responsible for actions taken, is yourself. If you don’t know the answer to a pressing question your best bet is to contact a professional or service that can provide you with the answers you are looking for.   Dear Mr.CBB There has been so much controversy online and on mommy groups about parents who sell freebies that they get from freebie sites online such as free clothes, free formula samples etc. that it’s becoming difficult to know what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s not something I’ve done personally but it has […]

Can lending money ruin friendships?

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DO WHAT MAKE MAKES SENSE TO YOU   Friendships consist of mutual likes or dislikes or even complete opposites because one person will bring something out of the other. Either way you look at it friends are different from family but can still be just as close. There’s that old saying “You can choose your friends not your family” and for some unfortunate people out there that can be true. Differing views on how each individual runs their lives or what they consider to be important changes from person to person.     Family   I’m sure there’s been times that my parents have had to bite their tongue when it comes to our family and their money situations. Although Mr. CBB is stable with his finances, it doesn’t hold true for my siblings. I somehow was much more aware when my parents taught us about money from a young age. You remember the money-box I spoke about just recently. This is where more financial lessons come into play. I carried those money lessons right up to University and into purchasing my first home at a young age. My parents have had to lend out money more than a few […]

Is it wise to stay home and pay off my student debts?

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I WANT, I WANT, I WANT   Ah, the student debt fever doesn’t hit until school is done and reality hits the young adults of today. End of the school year 2014 is quickly approaching which means many graduates will be free from their education but not from their student debts. Today’s post is based on a question in the CBB mailbox from a student fan who was looking to me and all of you for some advice on what he/she should do after University because of student debt load. It’s funny how many people when given lump sums of money or money in general will live in the moment especially if they don’t have any savings to back them up. The feeling of happiness that money brings to most people overrides anything that will happen after the fact such as paying it back. I know a friend of ours who year after year gets in a financial bind and has to get a loan from whoever is silly enough to give it to them. In the months leading up to actually finding someone to give them a loan to pay off their debt they are miserable, have no money […]

The costs of fertility treatments to create a miracle

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A  STORY OF A COUPLES STRUGGLE   Fertility treatment centers across Canada are visited every day from couples who are struggling to conceive. Each week I find that someone is coming to the blog looking for answers on the costs of fertility treatments, ovulation tests, what infertility is, fertility calendars, fertility calculators and so on. The reality is there are not always any real answers and the doctors will put you through a series of tests and medications that will cost you out-of-pocket if you don’t have the benefits coverage to pay. Many couples will go into debt or use their life savings for an ounce of hope and stop at nothing from re-mortgaging their homes, borrowing money or using credit cards to fund fertility treatments. Sadly, not every treatment has a happy ending and costs can mount up month after month, year after year. If both your fallopian tubes are blocked In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is not covered under OHIP but the province of Ontario will cover a portion of the costs of IVF but when they say a portion it’s a small portion. Costs can run you upwards of $12,000-$14,000  including medications depending on where you go. A […]

How my co-op program shaped my work ethics

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EXPERIENCE LASTS A LIFE-TIME   Co-op programs have been around for ages now and the kids that do get involved have for the most part come out from the placement with a positive learning experience. We’ve talked about career choices and how they should be your own and not up to your parents and taking advantage of any co-op program experience might be your ticket to self-learning. While relaxing a little last night and watching some programs that had been previously recorded the show “Undercover Boss Canada” came on. The television program is based on a British television show called “Back to the Floor” from a several years ago and encourages the Boss to get back to the nitty-gritty. The Undercover Boss segment in question was about the “Toronto Zoo” which in itself was very interesting but also made me think about my involvement in a ‘Work Experience‘ as we call it in the UK a ‘Co-op Program‘ in Canada when I was still in school.   Co-op program   What is a co-op program? Also known as co-operative education in Canada securing a co-op placement is a head start above the competition when it comes time to look for […]

Should your career choice be up to your parents?

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WALK YOUR OWN PATH IN LIFE   When trying to pick a career choice for the rest of your life it’s not an easy task for someone who may still be a teenager and still in high school. The reality is that many people go on to change careers over the course of their life for many reasons. Does money and success buy you happiness? Sure, everyone wants that great career that pays out more money than the actual amount of effort put in. However, not everyone is built the same and one persons passion will be different from another. The work ethic, studying philosophy and creativeness begins at an early age, depending on what your child finds an interest in. I can quite easily say that there is also some inherent genetics that play a part as my own brain and interests are definitely similar to my fathers.   How to encourage your child   I can remember as a child growing up that my parents had obviously seen that I had an interest and certain developing skills that led them to encourage and pursue similar activities for me. They also bought toys and encouraged my interest in activities related to […]